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WDC Intern photographing a humpback whale
intern, school talk, Delilah, education
Intern Claire from France showing baleen


WDC North America (NA), located in Plymouth, Massachusetts, offers internships providing science, education, and conservation experience in working for an international non-profit organization. At the end of the program our hope is that interns will be able to leave with a comprehensive understanding of both the exciting and routine aspects of what it takes to research and conserve marine mammals. For a personal perspective of what life is like as an intern find out more about previous interns and check our Instagram for posts sharing stories from our interns.

The application deadline for summer internship positions has closed. We are currently accepting applications for the late summer/early fall positions on a rolling basis. Application instructions can be found below.


Fieldwork is primarily carried out on commercial whale watching boats and the field season is April - October. The frequency of fieldwork is weather dependent.

The program requires a minimum commitment of 12 weeks, with the possibility of extending the term on a case-by-case basis. The internship is a full- time position requiring availability 7 days a week due to the scheduling of outreach events and daily whale watching trips.

There is no fee or compensation for the internship positions. Participants must arrange for their own transportation to and from Plymouth and provide their own food. Furnished housing with a shared bedroom is available on site for a monthly fee of $300 USD, which is strictly to offset the cost of housing. Those that can provide their own housing are encouraged to apply.

WDC is willing to help qualified students obtain credits for the program through their college or university. International applicants interested in the internship program must be able to secure their own travel visa and other required documentation.

Successful candidates will focus their time in two main areas - science and outreach.

Science Responsibilities

· Marine mammal species identification and behavior observations in the field

· Collecting and processing opportunistic marine mammal sightings data in the Southern Gulf of Maine

· Collecting and processing images of marine mammals in the Southern Gulf of Maine

· Photo identification and cataloging of individually identifiable humpback and finback whales

· Database coding and cleaning

· Understanding how science guides WDC’s policy initiatives


Outreach Responsibilities

· Interaction with whale watch passengers – answering questions and using educational props for informal education

· Assisting staff at school programs for all grade levels

· Participating in local festivals and outreach events – encouraging people to get involved in WDC’s mission

· Exhibiting WDC’s largest educational resource - a life-size inflatable whale named Delilah!

· Writing blogs and social media content

· Initiate discussions with groups of people of all ages

· Attendance at conferences, meetings, and stakeholder discussions (as opportunities arise)

Candidate Qualifications

· Must be 18 years or older (preference given to students matriculated in or recently graduated from appropriate graduate or undergraduate degree programs)

· Fluency in English

· Possession of a valid driver's license is strongly preferred

· Be able to show proof of valid health insurance

· Capable of spending long days in an office environment

· Ability to work on sea going vessels for long hours, sometimes in adverse weather conditions

· Some physical labor required (i.e. transporting event materials)

· Excellent verbal and written communications skills

· Must be comfortable speaking in front of groups of people of all walks of life

· Act effectively as a member of a close-knit team

· Ability to function well under pressure

· Ability to relay scientific information to the general public in an understandable way

· Ability to problem solve in unanticipated situations

· Good computer skills – familiarity with operating PCs

How to Apply  

Please only submit the following via e-mail to

  1. Cover letter - Clearly indicate your availability (specific dates, if possible) in the cover letter
  2. Resume
  3. Contact information for two references including e-mail, phone number, and your affiliation to the reference. No prewritten letters, please.
  4. A supporting document of no more than 300 words answering only one of the following prompts:
  • In order to save a species, where do you think conservation efforts should start?
  • Whale watching can be a controversial topic. Does whale watching do more harm than good, or more good than harm?
  • In your opinion, what is the greatest threat that whales and dolphins face?

Any additional questions should be directed to Monica Pepe via email at or by calling the office at (508) 746-2522.

WDC's internship program is made possible with support from The Jessica Rekos Foundation.

Program Stats

WDC North America’s internship program launched in 2007.

Since then, over 90 interns have joined us.

More than 76% of interns continued careers in conservation biology upon completion.

Half of our current staff came from the internship program!

WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, is the leading international charity dedicated solely to the worldwide conservation and welfare of all whales, dolphins, and porpoises. WDC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin.

Please review our Privacy Notice for information on how we collect and store your secure information.

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